Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car has a rough idle and water leaking from the tailpipe - 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser

asked by on

213k miles. Experiencing rough idle (needle steady but big vibration in every gear/felt at every stop), water steadily running out of tailpipe, and a little bit of white smoke out tailpipe, though it doesn't smell sweet, just like gas. First noticed the latter when I had it backed up to garage and within a minute the smell was so strong in there I had to move it.

Additionally, water is dripping from exhaust underneath car, with bit of smoke/steam leaking around boot.

-No milky substance in radiator or oil. -The coolant reservoir was low, but I just bought this and was the first time I had checked it. The radiator was still full of coolant. -Spark plugs don't look that bad. No gunk/build-up. No signs of any coolant anywhere. Changing them today though. -Cleaned the MAF -Cleaned the throttle body. -CEL came on but after battery disconnect, hasn't come back

Seems responsive and drives fine, but noticeablly struggles to maintain speed on long uphill grade. 55mph but have it floored.

A: Hello and thank you for contacting YourMech...

Hello and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. If the smoke is slightly white, it could be burning the fuel too cold. This is an issue with a cylinder misfiring and causing raw fuel to enter the exhaust pipe. Check all of the cylinders for air, spark, and fuel. Make sure that all of the spark plugs are having a solid blue spark and that there are no burn spots on them. Check all of the injectors by unplugging one at a time from the harness to see if the engine idles even rougher.

If it does, then that injector was working. If it does not, then it is a possibility that the injector was not working. If everything checks out to be good, then you would need to do a compression test to see if there is a cylinder that has a low compression. This can be caused by a burned valve, a bent valve, burned or stuck rings, or a burned head gasket.

If you need further assistance diagnosing your engine, then seek out a professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who can come to your location to inspect the rough idle issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: I have Toyota Vitz 2001 model 2ZN engine. When I start engine in the morning I see white smoke from the exhaust. What do I have to do?

Hi there. White smoke that comes out of the exhaust system is caused by engine coolant burning in the combustion chamber. This is caused by the head gasket, a cracked head, or a cracked block making coolant go from the...

Q: car died while driving

The issue is the alarm's power supply is tapped into the main engine control system. By doing this will cause the fuse to pop for the extra load on the system. Either change the location of the alarm's power supply...

Q: My car Is leaking transmission fluid.

If the output shaft seal (where the seal engages the inboard CV segment) is leaking even though the seal is new the possible causes of the leak are: wrong seal; seal is cocked in the bore, not properly positioned or...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...